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Watch: Eric Holder Announces Federal Gov’t Expands Marriage Recognition To Five More States

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Attorney General Eric Holder announces the federal government will recognize legal same-sex marriages in states affected by the Supreme Court’s decision to not hear new marriage cases.

“We will not delay in fulfilling our responsibility to afford every eligible couple, whether same-sex or opposite-sex, the full rights and responsibilities to which they are entitled. With their long-awaited unions, we are slowly drawing closer to full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans nationwide,” Attorney General Eric Holder says in his weekly address.

In a statement to reporters, the Attorney General “added that the Department of Justice will work with agencies across the administration to ensure that all applicable federal benefits are extended to those couples as soon as possible.”

Holder is one of the LGBT communities strongest and most effective advocates. Under his direction, the federal government dropped its defense of the Defense of Marriage Act. The Attorney General has told state attorneys general that they have no legal mandate to defend their state marriage bans, and he has also publicly expressed disdain for the Boy Scouts’ anti-gay policy.

Below, the full text of the Attorney General’s remarks, via the Dept. of Justice, and AG Holder’s video:

“Last week, the Supreme Court declined to review rulings from three federal appeals courts that had struck down bans on same-sex marriage in five states across the country. Going forward, marriage equality will be the law in those states.

“The practical consequences of the Court’s decision are profound for families throughout the nation. Within hours of the decision, same-sex couples in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin were able to have their unions recognized in the states where they live—to stand with their partners, and with their children, as loving and committed families with the full protection of the law.

“I am pleased to announce that the federal government will recognize the same-sex marriages now taking place in the affected states, and I have directed lawyers here at the Department of Justice to work with our colleagues at agencies across the Administration to ensure that all applicable federal benefits are extended to those couples as soon as possible. We will not delay in fulfilling our responsibility to afford every eligible couple, whether same-sex or opposite-sex, the full rights and responsibilities to which they are entitled.

“With their long-awaited unions, we are slowly drawing closer to full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans nationwide. By letting the lower-court decisions stand, the Supreme Court expanded the number of states allowing same-sex marriage from 19 to 24, along with the District of Columbia. Just one day after the Supreme Court’s action, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit joined the other courts that have invalidated bans, extending marriage rights even further. In the past eight days, at least half a dozen additional states have recognized marriage equality. And even more states covered by the lower-court rulings will almost certainly be joining them in short order.

“The steady progress toward LGBT equality we’ve seen – and celebrated – is important and historic. But there remain too many places in this country where men and women cannot visit their partners in the hospital, or be recognized as the rightful parents of their own adopted children; where people can be discriminated against just because they are gay. Challenges to marriage restrictions are still being actively litigated in courts across the country. And while federal appeals courts have so far been unanimous in finding that bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, if a disagreement does arise, the Supreme Court may address the question head-on. If that happens, the Justice Department is prepared to file a brief consistent with its past support for marriage equality.

“In the meantime, we will continue to extend federal benefits to same-sex couples to the fullest extent allowed by federal law. And we will continue to work—to the very best of our ability—to bring about a more equal future for all Americans nationwide.”

 

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CRIME

Trump CFO Allen Weisselberg Could Face Indictment as Soon as This Summer: NYT

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The New York Times is reporting that former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg could be charged as soon as this summer.

The news implies that Weisselberg isn’t cooperating with the district attorney’s office yet. It was thought that Wisselberg would quickly make a plea deal with DA Cy Vance to save himself legally. Weisselberg would be the first indictment in this case.

“In recent weeks, a grand jury has been hearing evidence about Mr. Weisselberg, who is facing intense scrutiny from prosecutors as they seek his cooperation with a broader investigation into Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization, the people with knowledge of the matter said,” reported the Times. “The prosecutors have obtained Mr. Weisselberg’s personal tax returns, the people said, providing the fullest picture yet of his finances.”

Weisselberg’s ex-daughter-in-law has been cooperating with the DA office handing over evidence that she has.

“The investigation into Mr. Weisselberg focuses partly on whether he failed to pay taxes on valuable benefits that Mr. Trump provided him and his family over the years, including apartments and leased cars as well as tens of thousands of dollars in private school tuition for at least one of his grandchildren,” said the report. “In general, those types of benefits are taxable, although there are some exceptions, and the rules can be murky.”

Read the full report from the New York Times.

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WTH?

Watch: House Republicans Gang Up on Democrat as They Try to End 1/6 Insurrection Hearing With FBI Director

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House Republicans on Tuesday tried to derail a hearing with FBI Director Christopher Wray on Donald Trump’s January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. As California Democratic U.S. Congressman Ro Khanna was speaking to Wray, Republicans tried to end the proceedings.

As Khanna is berating Director Wray, who told the House Oversight and Reform Committee the FBI did not have advance knowledge there would be a deadly attempt to overturn the election in a violent attack on lawmakers, one GOP Congressman  interrupted.

“Madam Chair, I move to adjourn,” the Republicans says, interrupting Rep. Khanna, and violating the rules in the process.

Khanna, looks around to see who interrupted him, asks, “Madam Chair, if I could pause…”

As he speaks another Republican interrupts him.

“There’s been a motion, Madam Chair.”

Another person in the chamber, presumably a Democratic Congress, stunned, says, “HGe doesn’t have the floor,” meaning the Republican has no right to speak.

“The gentleman is not recognized,” the Chair tells the Republicans. “It is Mr. Khanna’s time.”

“We had an insurrection, we don’t need disruptions here,” Khanna said, addressing the Republicans. “Can we allow the democratic process to continue please?”

Republicans insisted they had a right to motion to adjourn, but the Chair told them they were “out of order.”

Democrats called for order as Republicans walked around the dais.

Watch:

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BYE

Fox Fires Reporter Who Declared On-Air She Was Being ‘Muzzled’ by Her Bosses: Report

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Fox 26 Houston reporter Ivory Hecker announced Tuesday she has been fired after announcing live on-air during an on-scene segment that her bosses had been “muzzling” her and she had given secretly recorded audio and video to the discredited far right wing activists at Project Veritas.

“Before we get to that story, I want to let you, the viewers, know that Fox Corp. has been muzzling me to keep certain information from you, the viewers,” Hecker said on-camera Monday during her report (video below). “And from what I’m gathering, I am not the only reporter being subjected to this.”

The Daily Beast reports that in a phone call with Hecker “she said that she had just been terminated by the Fox outlet.”

But Hecker seems glad to go.

“I have been longing to part ways with this strange, slightly unhinged corporation since last August when I realized what they were,” she told The Daily Beast. “The piece with Project Veritas doesn’t touch what they did. Fox 26 knows I’m fearless.”

She added: “I have zero interest in working for another corporation. They all toe the same line.”

It’s unclear what “line” that is but it would seem she would have been more comfortable at another “unhinged corporation,” possibly OANN.

Here’s Hecker’s report from Monday.

 

 

 

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